SNIDER: Haskins shows Redskins he’s a keeper

Rick Snider
November 24, 2019 - 7:08 pm
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Maybe the Redskins have found their 2020 quarterback after all.
 
Tied 16-16 with 48 seconds remaining and the ball near midfield, Haskins knew it was go time. His wrist was sore from an earlier hit, which he blamed for missing several other passes, but no matter. After 400 days without a home victory before a small crowd at FedEx Field, the first-rounder converted three of five passes, including a 17-yarder to his college teammate Terry McLaurin, to set up the game-winning field goal.
 
And then Haskins missed his encore. The Redskins needed a victory formation with two seconds left and the rookie wasn't to be found. Coach Bill Callahan said he had no idea where Haskins was, so Case Keenum was sent out to kneel in victory.
 
Rookies – what are you going to do?
 
The Redskins won without scoring an offensive touchdown, so there's work to be done. Haskins was 13-of-29 for 156 yards with one interception and a 47.5 rating. Frankly, he left a lot of plays out there. The tying field goal came after Haskins overthrew McLaurin in the end zone. A few other plays saw the ball flying past receivers.
 
Haskins probably needs another 1,000 throws to correct mechanical flaws, but after beating Detroit 19-16 on Sunday, he'll get them. Sure, it was one win against an equally bad team and there are more trying Sundays ahead over the final five weeks, but Haskins gave Washington a needed glimpse that he's a gamer with his first comeback victory. Now that 2020 first-rounder should be used to fill tight end, receiver, cornerback or left tackle.
 
There are more trying times to come in the next five games, but Dwayne Haskins showed the Redskins he's a gamer on Sunday.
 
It's all about potential with Haskins. Sure, he was a reach at No. 15 overall last spring, but the true question comes five years from now when remembering this season. Either Haskins overcomes a poor start and is a decent player for the Redskins, or he becomes just the latest quarterback to pass through town. No. 29 since the last Super Bowl.
 
It's going to take time to eliminate bad habits. And it's going to take the right coach, whomever that is come January. If Haskins and the next coach don't mesh, then the passer is the one leaving town. Sure, the coach swears he'll develop Haskins, but we've seen this tragedy play out too many times since the Redskins took Heath Shuler in 1994.
 
Haskins ran for 10 yards on a keeper on that final drive for a first down, striking a warrior pose afterwards. In past weeks, he might have run into a defender. That's the type of progress the Redskins are seeing and for now it seems enough.
 
Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks

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